As the 2015 season has gone on for the Chicago Cubs, players like Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta keep making history on a consistent basis, but on Monday night, Chris Denorfia did something that no player has ever done in the history of Major League Baseball.
When he came up to the plate as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 11th inning, Denorfia faced off against Kansas City Royals reliever Miguel Almonte. On the very first pitch he saw, Denorfia deposited a home run into the left field bleachers, giving the Cubs a 1-0 walkoff victory.
Not only was the walk-off win the 13th of the season for the Cubs (the most in the majors this season), but it represented a historic achievement for Denorfia. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the outfielder became the first pinch-hitter in MLB history to hit a walk-off home run in an extra inning game that ended with a score of 1-0.
“It’s just the best feeling,” he told reporters after the game. “You feel like a little kid again. I’m 35 years old, and just running around the bases knowing what’s waiting for you at home is really, really special.”
According to Christopher Kamka of CSN Chicago, Denorfia became the first Cubs player to hit a walk-off home run to break a scoreless tie in extra innings since 1971, when Joe Pepitone hit a home run off of Mudcat Grant (both of which are real names, we assure you).
Denorifa may not end up getting a roster spot for the Cubs when October rolls around, but with home runs like this, he is making a strong case to be included on the 25-man roster when the playoffs begin.